Sheriff warns residents about recent phone scams

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IRON COUNTY — An Iron County resident knew what to do when he received two phone calls telling him two different stories and trying to elicit personal information as well as cash. He called the Sheriff’s Office.

Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower said the man received two phone calls, both from male callers, within a two-day span. The first caller told the man he had hit the caller’s car, and the caller was now contacting him to get his personal information and his insurance policy number. The man felt something was not right, so he hung up.

Later, the man received a second call telling him he was over on his cellphone data plan. The caller told him he must immediately pay $250 or his account would go to collections.

The man hung up the phone and immediately reported the calls to the Sheriff’s Office.

Gower said these weren’t the only fraudulent calls received by Iron County residents. Over the past week, the Sheriff’s Office has received five reports of similar scams.

Gower said there are two major points to watch for in spotting a scam. First, your insurance company, cellphone provider, bank or other creditor does not use the phone to contact you and demand immediate payment. You will always receive mail or e-mail telling you if there is a problem with your account.

The other sure sign of a scam, Gower said, is that the caller either demands personal information from you, such as bank account numbers or your Social Security number, or immediate payment using Western Union, a prepaid Visa card or a Green Dot card.

Gower said if you receive a call that you feel might be a scam, the proper way to handle it is to see if a phone number came up on your caller ID. If a number is visible, note it. Tell the person you will call them back, then notify the Sheriff’s Office immediately.

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